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Friends reunited

Stewart Downing already knows former Boro boys Danny Graham and Richie Smallwood

22 June 2019

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New signing Stewart Downing admits it is nice to have some familiar faces already in the building.

The experienced midfielder, who has joined Rovers on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, knows former Boro boys Danny Graham, Richie Smallwood and Harry Chapman from his time in the North East.

The former Middlesbrough trio were all at the Senior Training Centre last week doing some extra fitness work when Downing arrived to have a look round his new surroundings.

The 34-year-old admits it can be difficult to find your feet at a new club, but he is confident he will settle in quickly to life at Rovers.

"I've been speaking to Danny the last couple of weeks," said the former England international, who played alongside Graham at Middlesbrough for several seasons at the start of their careers.

"Throughout our careers, we've always kept in touch.

"He came into Middlesbrough quite late into his development. He didn't really do the youth team route.

"I've always got on well with Danny. He's a good lad, he'll work hard for you and he got a lot of goals last season for the team.

"Chappy was obviously a young player at Middlesbrough and I know Richie Smallwood as well. I saw him on holiday last week, so he was asking if I was signing.

"I basically just said to him 'give me a couple of days'.

"It's nice when you go to a new club and you see people you know. It makes it easier to settle.

"I've been in clubs where I've not known anyone and it's quite, not daunting, but it takes you a couple of weeks to find your feet.

"But already, I've got a feeling that I'll settle quite quickly."

Stewart Downing will be with Rovers for the 2019-20 Championship campaign, will you? Sign up now for a Season Ticket here.

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